Thursday, October 02, 2008

Solar system formation and tools to search for extraterrestrial life

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here's today's news:
g Stars -Now, astrophysicists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism have shown for the first time that a supernova could indeed have triggered the Solar System's formation under the more likely conditions of rapid heating and cooling. See article.
g Abodes - New evidence of lake deposits inside Martian impact craters may indicate that precipitation once fed rivers and lakes on Mars. Precipitation at the Martian surface could mean that the planet was once capable of supporting life as we know it. See article.
g Life - Using an artificial meteorite, scientists have determined that organisms in meteorites wouldn't survive a fall to Earth. However, the study does show that meteorites could still retain biosignatures that would provide evidence for life on other worlds. See article.
g Message -Looking for life elsewhere is a tough task for human or robot. The good news is that the scientific skill and tools to search for, detect and inspect extraterrestrial life are advancing rapidly. See article.
g Imagining -Mars was once thought to be the most likely of the planets to harbor life, and so was a great source of inspiration for filmmakers. This review examines Mars in the history of the cinema.
g Aftermath - If some day we detect a radio signal from a distant civilization, we’ll have to make some adjustments in the way we view ourselves. After millennia of knowing of no other intelligence in the universe than humankind, we could face a considerable challenge to our terrestrial egotism. In the process, will we simply gain a little healthy humility about our place in the universe? Or would it be downright humiliating to compare our own meager accomplishments with those of more advanced extraterrestrials? See article. Note: This article is from 2000.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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